Health & Food

Thrifty Thursday: Buy In-Season (Spaghetti Squash with Meatballs, and Homemade Pomegranate Salsa)

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This beautiful image below inspired me to write a blog post about in-season produce.  After all, we are entering a new season very soon; winter, and there are so many wonderful winter fruits and veggies from which to choose.  And speaking of winter, can you believe it’s already here (close enough)?!  This year has by far been the fasted year of my entire life.  I think that’s what happens when you plan a wedding.  As some of my friends have told me, “just wait until you have kids!”.  Ok. I’ll wait

Buying in-season produce (and meat/fish too) is really the easiest way to save some dough. When you look for recipes over the next few months (December, January, February) try to include some in-season fruits and vegetables, such as those found by clicking on the links below.

Vegetables
(Includes some of my favorites like artichoke, arugula, broccoli, brussel sprouts, spinach, winter squash, and turnips)

Fruits

(Includes Asian pears, grapefruit, kumquats, mandarines, oranges, and pomegranates)

Pomegranate Salsa.  Perfect for your next holiday gathering

I took note of this list and saw that December is the last month that pomegranates are in-season (and most pears are just out of season, but can still be found at a great price in local supermarkets).  So what did I do? Stocked up! Do you have any idea how healthy pomegranates are?  Wait….you don’t?! Oh my gosh.  You would probably eat a whole pomegranate each day if you had any idea just how packed with nutrients they are. And I’m not talking about pomegranate juice. Sure, the juice has many health benefits, I won’t deny that, but the actual fruit has the fiber (an excellent source, no less) and therefore has more benefits and is more filling (oh, and let’s not forget the synergy of the thousands of nutrients found in the actual fruit that work together in ways that we don’t even fully understand yet).  Here are some tips on picking out and storing pomegranates. As for removing the seeds (arils), do it in water.  Yes, I said water.  See the directions for the salsa below.

Pomegranate and Pear Salsa

Ingredients

  • 2 pomegranates or ~1¾ cup pomegranate seeds (arils) **
  • ¼ cups 100% pomegranate juice
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • ¼ cup minced red onion **
  • ¼ cup freshly chopped cilantro
  • 1 medium Bartlett or Asian pear, cored and diced **
  • 1 tbsp. granulated sugar

Instructions

  1. Score each pomegranate and place in large bowl of water. Break pomegranates open in water to free seeds. Pull and break seeds from membrane; seeds will sink to bottom of bowl. Strain, place seeds in medium mixing bowl.
  2. Add pomegranate juice and lime juice to seeds; toss to coat evenly. Add minced red onion, cilantro and diced pear; stir to combine. Sprinkle sugar over seed mixture; stir to combine.
  3. Serve with tortilla chips, fish or chicken.

Notes

Note:  If you are following a Low FODMAPS diet this is simply not a good recipe (onion, pear and pomegranate all contain FODMAPs).

  NOTE: Check out last year’s blog post for more great pomegranate recipes, from some of my favorite foodie bloggers!

Another great ingredient this season is the delicious and humble kumquat.

INSTAGRAM!  The Candid RD
Have you tried one? If not, you must. I will be posting a recipe for kumquat salsa in a few weeks. Yes, I’m going to make you wait.

For now I will leave you with this delicious and simple recipe for spaghetti squash and meatballs…..

Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs (EASY!)

I made this lower FODMAPs by omitting the garlic and using garlic olive oil instead.  I also used half the onion, but overall this isn’t the best recipe if you follow a low FODMAPs diet. It also called for Italian seasoned breadcrumbs, which are loaded with garlic and onion!

Instagramin’ it (The Candid RD)!  Take note, this recipe was supposed to serve four people, but it made about 30 meatballs. Uhh…do the math!  We had leftovers, needless to say.

Spaghetti squash was harvested back in October, but is still technically in-season through December, and will be available in your store for a very great price for the next couple months.  I made this recipe with my friend (and dietitian) Janan a couple weeks ago.  It was really tasty, and not too difficult.  I love spaghetti squash because it’s like spaghetti, but it comes with vegetable nutrients like beta-carotene, fiber, and vitamin C.  Plus, it’s lower in carbohydrates than actual pasta.  That means you can make room for a glass of wine or a beer (not that we did that…..muahaha).

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